The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Lady and Her Flock

I bought Ken Folk's book that has many patterns for old-fashioned pull or hand-cranked toys.  

One of the models that caught my attention was The Lady and Her Flock................

I decided to build one of these models for my grandkids.  I want to modify the design by adding spoked wood wheels instead of the plain wood wheels used on the pattern.  I want to make the geese look more life-like by making them 3D using the scroll saw compound scroll saw cutting method.

Compound Cut Method of Making 3D objects

This is a common technique used in the scroll saw world for making 3D objects. For examples of this technique, see my hand-cranked chicken project.

To use this method:
-start with a rectangular block of wood

-mark the pattern on the front of the block, which is the side view

-mark the pattern on the top of the block, which is the top view

-scroll saw one side of the block

-using clear packing tape, tape the pieces back together so they won't move in the final cut

-scroll saw the other side of the block

-unpeel the tape and block, yielding a 3D object in the center (this part is almost like magic :)  )

I used Sketchup to design the front and top patterns for the block........

One thing I learned about this technique, the scroll saw is limited to sawing blocks with a maximum of about 1.5 inches.  Bigger than this will not fit into the saw.

On this project, I can saw the front view on the scroll saw, because it is only 1.5 inches thick.  I can not saw the top view on the scroll saw because it is over the 1.5" limit.  So, I used my Sears 14 inch bandsaw to saw the top view.  Using the big band saw, you can not saw intricate details like on the scroll saw, but the top view is designed to be simple enough to do on the big band saw.  

In Sketchup, you can create the final 3D result by stretching the 2 views, then intersecting them...........explode the whole group........and removing the excess....

And here is the real goose done in common pine........

Error in the Book Plans

Over the years, I have found that over 50% of paper plans for projects have errors in them.  That is one reason why I always enter the design into Sketchup (plus it helps me to fully understand the design for when I actually build it).

I put the paper plan into Sketchup, and noticed the 3 holes in the drive bar, and the 3 holes in the base, for the geese.........did not line up.  The front hole is a different distance from the middle hole, than the distance from the center hole to the RH hole.  Using the paper plans and a ruler, I found the error.

I fixed the error in Sketchup, but when I was ready to build, my printer was out of I used the book paper pattern........and forgot to correct the error.  I found it when I installed the 3 crankshafts, and the front hole crankshaft does have the same angle to the drawbar as the other two.  I filled the bad hole with a dowel, then drilled a new hole, using the holes in the drawbar as my "master" pattern.  If I build one of these again, I will first drill the drawbar, then use those 3 holes to locate the 3 holes in the base.

My Assembly Error

When I was trying out the mechanism for moving the drawbar, I went ahead and glued in the 2 support blocks..........bad plan!!  You need to wait until you have tried out the mechanism, then as a last step, glue them into place.  I split the 2 old ones with a chisel, then glued and clamped them back together.

Brass Rod

The plans call for piano wire.  I had some brass rods in stock, plus they can be soldered to a brass washer.  I made the washers from some scrap thin brass plate leftover from another project.

I tried peening the ends of the small brass rod with a ball peen hammer.  This sorts of works, but takes forever, and is not well-suited to trying to hammer on a rod that is in place on the model.  I elected to flux and solder the brass washers to the brass rods.  This worked well, and will last forever.  The mild amount of peening I could do, was not very thick, and would wear against the thin brass washer.

The brass rod came from McMaster-Carr online.

Spacers with 1/4" ID and small OD

The plans say to cut 3/16" lengths from a hollow aluminum rod....which I don't have.  I did have some steel nipples left over from another project.  I bored them slightly over 1/4" ID, so the 1/4" wood axle would fit fine.  I used a hacksaw to  cut the 3/16" length.

Trying Out the Fit for the Slider Bar linkage

I used baling wire, steel wire, to come up with the right bends...........then used that as a pattern for the brass rod.

another mistake on my part :(

When I laid out the cut-out for the brass rod linkage in the base, going to the lady.........I laid it out too far forward......Darn........hate it when that happens.  I enlarged the hole to the front using the scroll saw, and life was good again !!

Soldering Ladies arm linkage

I figured out that if you first solder the joint on the cam wheel below, you can insert the rod up through the clearance hole, and onto the ladies arm.

Ready for Mineral Oil dip

I bored out the 3" spoked wheels to 1/4" to match the axle size, and glued them on.  Remember to use the drill press versus hand-drilling, so you don't get the wheels out of alignment with the axle!!  [I messed up one wheel by hand drilling it, before remembering to use the drill press]

I decided since the parts have to remain free and easy moving, I decided to dip the main body and wheels in mineral the finish.  I will hand paint the lady and the 3 sheep.

I bought the mineral oil from Farm & Fleet store in Bloomington. It is in the farm animal department, not the paint department.  It is used as a laxative for cows :)

1st Coat of Mineral Oil Applied to Main Body


I applied  2 coats of Anita's paint. I used the oven at 115F to help dry the painted parts faster.

Finished Model

YouTube Video

Closing Thoughts on this Project

This was a fun project to build.  The 3" diameter spoked wheels and the 3D geese added a nice touch to the model.  Hopefully, the grandkids will have fun with this one!


November 2018 Update

I took most of my wood toys to Marsh Park on July 28th, for the kids..........and adults play with.  Unfortunately, this toy did not survive the day.  On  1 of the geese, the thin 3/16" dowel holding it........broke off.  The kids had another issue with this toy, when they tried to pull and turn it on the sidewalk, it simply rolled over instead of turning.........because the front axle is fixed and will not rotate with the turn.  I built this to the book plan...........but I don't think the book author had real kids play with his toys!!

Broken Original Toy

Beefier Design

Beefier Prototype

I decided to beef up the design, and build a much beefier version. I changed the front fixed axle, to a rotating axle.  I beefed up most of the 1/4" size components to 3/8", including the dowels that rotate the geese. After I designed the beefier version in Sketchup as shown above, I decided to build a pine (versus maple) prototype, to make sure my wheel diameter selection was ok........and that it turned ok.

Prototype Results

The main bed was horizontal, which meant my wheel diameter calculations were correct.  I pulled and turned it using the rope...........and it turns smoothly and worked great.  So, on to building the beefier model using maple.

Issues Building Beefier Design

The bigger back wheels required a 3/8" diameter dowel, which is ok.............but the rear axle housing is designed for a 1/4" diameter shaft.  I took a piece of 3/8" dowel to the lathe, and turned down 1 end from 3/8" to 1/4" diameter.  I used a 3/8" thick piece of red oak with a 1/4" dia hole drilled in size the 1/4" in the dowel........this worked great!

The 3 crankshaft pieces that turn the geese, had centers at 3/4".  I first thought I could get more rotation, by changing the throw from 3/4" to 1".............but after I built it and tested it.......I had actually reduced the angular rotation!! hate that when it happens.  So, I was able to saw off the old dowel flush, drill a new hole at 3/4" old design.......and rotation is back to normal. This was not intuitively obvious to me that the longer the throw, the shorter the angular rotation.

I had some interference with the brass rod that drives the lady's arm, and the slot in the main base board.  I had to use a Dremel to increase the size of the slot a little.

I installed the lady, and painted her before painting whole toy in Mineral Oil.  I put blue masking tape on the dowels for the 3 geese, so they would not get mineral oil on them.  I kept the mineral oil away from the  painted lady.  Then I glued on the 3 geese, and attached the pull cord and wood ball.

Finished Beefier Version of Lady and her Flock

Closing Thoughts

This beefier version took about 20 hours to build. Hopefully it will stand up to a lot more usage by children and adults !